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Azeri riot police detain dozens of anti-govt. demonstrators

Azeri riot police detain dozens of anti-govt. demonstrators

Riot police in Azerbaijan have detained dozens of opposition activists trying to stage a peaceful demonstration against the government of President Elham Aliyev in the capital Baku.

The arrests came after hundreds of people gathered near the Fountains Square in central Baku on Monday where they demanded the resignation of President Aliyev and the dissolution of parliament.

The opposition parties including Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and Musavat (equality) Party say the sitting lawmakers are corrupt and do not represent the will of the people.

Marking International Human Rights Day, the protesters chanted, “Freedom” and “Resignation”.

“With this protest, we have managed to draw the international community’s attention to the alarming situation regarding human rights, media freedom, and political atmosphere in Azerbaijan,” said leader of the Musavat Party, Isa Gambar during the protest.

Carrying Azerbaijan’s national and opposition party flags, protesters also demanded release of people arrested during the previous rally.

On November 17, a similar protest occurred in the same city where security forces arrested dozens of anti-government demonstrators including journalists who covered the protest rally.

The Azeri protesters are furious about the gap between the rich and the poor, rampant corruption and an economy highly dependent on oil in the country of nine million.

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